June 16, 2020

Many seniors and people with medical conditions risk serious health problems as the temperatures rise. For an elderly neighbor, someone suffering from heart or lung problems, or a child with asthma growing up in a neighborhood with heavily-polluted air, an air conditioner can make a world of difference.

This is one of the ways that Community Forklift’s Home Essentials Program (HELP) helps the community. Through the program, we provide free home essentials — like air conditioners — to neighbors who can’t otherwise afford them. So far this spring, we’ve already given out 37 units to help cool 55 people!

One of those people is Ms. L, a 29-year-old new mother to premature twins. Ms. L is a survivor of domestic violence who was recently homeless. Now working to get an apartment ready for her new family, she received two window A/C units to keep her children cool this summer.

“Thank you so much! I didn’t know how I was going to make it this summer. I really appreciated it and I appreciate you.”

HELP program client Ms. B, a 59-year-old homebound woman with asthma and COPD

We now have an air conditioner wait-list of 13 households and expect demand to increase as our area’s hot, humid summer weather begins. We need your help to deliver cool air to your neighbors in need! Here’s how:

  1. DONATE: Donated materials are the cornerstone of Community Forklift. Please donate unneeded window or in-room air conditioning units under 10 years of age at our reuse warehouse in Hyattsville, MD. We are open Monday through Sunday, 12 to 5 pm.
  2. FUND THE CAUSE: Help us buy new units to donate directly to a Home Essentials client! When donating money through our online contribution form, add a note in the comments section that you’d like your contribution to go to the HELP program.
  3. SPREAD THE WORD: Do you know of someone who might have an air conditioner to donate? Let your family, friends, and neighbors know that we can put it to good use!

Community Forklift is a 501(c)3 non-profit and your donation is tax-deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law. Every act of support, whether it’s a material donation, financial gift, or verbal advocacy, will help our neighbors beat the heat this summer. Thank you!


Every donation and purchase helps us lift up local communities through reuse. Community Forklift turns the construction waste stream into a resource stream for communities in the DC region – by keeping perfectly good items out of the landfill, preserving historical materials, providing low-cost building supplies, and creating local green jobs.